Early Dipping into Shared Risk
May 2021

Dear Friend,
People I get on Zoom calls with often ask me: “And where are you now?” This is because many already know about the vagabonding, the frequent moving from place to place. As my last newsletter went out, I didn’t know whether I would be able to get on a plane the next day to go to the next stop, Ireland. I didn’t know I would only be allowed two weeks of being in Ireland, and how much effort it would take to find a pathway to stay longer. When I wrote this newsletter, I knew little of what was to come next. Would we be allowed into Portugal for our major 3-month experiment in community living? Now that five of us are here, that particular not-knowing is in the past, and we don’t if the other three will make it through all the logistical challenges that travel now entails. And if they arrive… new things we don’t know will be there next.
Not knowing is an integral part of life. Until the patriarchal turn that has swept the globe in the last several thousand years, we lived within it. Even after, while we have been on a quest to conquer nature, the mysterious source of impermanence and unknowability, we were still leaning on each other, in community, to face life’s challenges together. It’s only in the last few hundred years, through modern technology, that some of us have acquired sufficient access to resources to be able to feed the illusion that we can predict and control everything; that we don’t depend on anyone else if we only have enough money to buy and coerce our way to getting what we need; and that sharing with others is primarily a loss.
This is how those of us who are benefiting from and, mostly unwittingly, participating in the transfer of resources from the many to the few, are now living. More and more of us are beginning to recognize that these ways of being are an ongoing interference with life’s organic flow, now to a degree that threatens our continued existence as a species. Still, for most of us, most of the time, we remain embedded within the commitment to making our own survival and well-being primary, above care for the whole, above stepping back consciously into the unknown, above sharing what we have with others, above downgrading our standard of living, and above opening to receive from others, lest we accrue debt. In our current social order, what risk exists in life falls on the individual (with more or less cushioning from the state in different places). What gain or windfall there is in life comes to the individual, even if others are struggling to get by. In modern, Western, financial contracts, risk is passed on to others as much as possible. 
When I read Charles Eisenstein’s Sacred Economics, I came to see more clearly how this degree of individual separation is related to loss of the material basis of community. Through capitalism, we have uncoupled community from material needs. Even as we remain dependent on each other, neoliberalism in particular creates conditions that mean our material needs are satisfied by people we don’t know, and we have almost no material ties with the people we engage with as “community.”
Back in September, when Emma and I first shared living space with Eddy and Selene, the four of us decided to step into the uncharted territory of seeing just how far we could go into risk sharing. After several months of being apart, the four of us were together, again, for six weeks in Ireland, and now we are together for three months in Portugal, hopefully with four other people, and what was previously an idea and a direction is now becoming a deeper reality. We are discovering, with no surprise, that risk sharing is like an uphill walk. We haven’t yet come upon institutional and legal obstacles, though we imagine those will come. For now, it’s only internal struggles that we are facing. Sharing expenses based on capacity is already radical compared to dividing them evenly, regardless of access to resources, which is what most people do. Making decisions together about use of resources is a steep next step. Since the Portugal project is now fully funded, this means our respective personal expenses are smaller. Where are we going to direct those extra resources, and who decides? When one of the four of us receives an unexpected amount of money – which has happened twice in the last while – is it all of ours to decide on or only that person, and why? How do we engage with the feelings that come up, with internalized patriarchal messages that interfere with a sense of flow? What will we need to shed the separation built into our usual ways of functioning so we can fully meet each other in our raw vulnerability to forge a future of more and more flow, with more and more people? And how will this all change as we integrate more people into our temporary larger community?
In my most recent blog post, “States, Collective Wellbeing, and Our Future,” I said, publicly, that “I don’t see any livable future in which there are states.” Today, here, I want to say, also, that I don’t see any livable future in which money and private property continue. In moments of challenge and overwhelm, our experiments here feel puny and ineffectual. In other moments, I am in surrender to the mystery of life, to not knowing, and to the potential contribution we are making. We are rediscovering, painstakingly, what our ancestors long ago took for granted. We are finding small pathways to walk towards restoring flow, and we are obsessively documenting what we do and what we are learning along the way. When I see the many people who are coming together in support of what we are doing and the resources that show up, I surrender to accepting our collective role, in our small and growing experiment, as one small node where a future may be reinvented.
In peace and reverence,


P.S. If you want to hear more of what’s been happening in the last couple of months, click here for both work and personal celebrations and mournings, news about the new self-study course, a thick crop of inspirations, and more.

Credits, from top: Keep Shopping: Colton Vond, flickr (CC BY 2.0); Cuddlers: Emma Quayle; Invest in Sharing: Marcus Johnstone, flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Our experiment in the gift paradigm...
Miki's Circle of Support
We aim to encourage the gift paradigm: a pattern of resource flow that isn’t based on individuals’ access to money. Within this, the Circle of Support acts as a baseline of steady support for Miki's choice to boldly (and so far successfully) venture more and more into operating within a gift economy. If you want to learn more about the existing paradigm, gift economy, the Circle of Support and our experimentation so far with alternative economies, we welcome you to visit the Circle of Support page on Miki’s website, or join the Circle here.

With immense gratitude and awe we have seen that, despite the hardships that have come to so many in these times, this time around we have more people in the Circle than last time even as a few people cycle in and out each month. At present, we have 126 people who contribute a total of $4,117 monthly to the Circle of Support. Both are roughly two-thirds of our goal of 200 contributors and $6,000 a month.

We celebrate every choice to join or leave the circle, as we aspire to our sustainability goal. Regardless of the total amount, we seek a broad base of participation both for the stability of this work, which increases when the circle is held by many hands, and for the affirmation of significance that your participation provides.

Is it your turn to cycle in? If so, please take a moment to do so now. If this isn't your moment to make a financial contribution, please consider telling the people in your life about your experiences of engaging with Miki’s work by forwarding information about her conference calls, books, or other resources.

Upcoming Events
Free Teleseminars
Miki’s free Maestro conference calls (voice) are on hold for May, June, and July while she is involved in the community living experiment in Portugal. Read about the experiment here. Miki anticipates resuming the calls in August, and publicizing them in the July newsletter.

Facing Privilege
On hold till August
The Facing Privilege calls are an opportunity for people to engage on the deep questions that arise as we reflect on the topic of privilege. Info and register
(see also for recordings of previous calls)

Overcoming Patriarchy
On hold till August
The Overcoming Patriarchy calls are for conversation, exploration, and active challenging of self and other based on the commitment to see and transcend all the ways in which we have internalized patriarchal thinking, to increase our collective ability to notice and act with choice. Info and register
(see also for recordings of previous calls)

Questioning Money
On hold till August
The Questioning Money calls are an opportunity to grapple together with all aspects, both internal and external, of global capitalism and to move toward transforming it inside and out. Info and register
(see also for recordings of previous calls)

The Zoom-based activist call (video) will continue through the coming months.

Nonviolent Activism for Liberation
Sunday, May 16, 9 am - 10:30 am PT
Sunday, June 13, 9 am - 10:30 am PT
Sunday, July 11th, 9 am - 10:30 am PT
The Nonviolent Activism for Liberation calls are to support activists in empowering themselves within their groups and movements to increase capacity to align means with ends so as to transform cultures of burnout, conflict, mistrust, blaming and shaming into environments of solidarity, trust, experimentation, and increased capacity to move towards the possibility of a livable future. Info and register
Online at NVC Academy
Vision Mobilization: Increasing Capacity for Organizations and Individuals Committed to Service
Arnina Kashtan, Emma Quayle, Miki Kashtan, and Sharon Carmel 
Sundays, August 8 to September 26 (seven sessions; skipping September 19)
7:30-9:30am Pacific (California) Time
At a time of rapid transformation and accelerating crises in the world, the four of us are joining together in offering our newest tools for the first time in a public setting.

The course is designed for individuals, communities, and organizations with live demonstrations and tools for continuing the work on your own. It follows every part of the Vision Mobilization Framework, which you can learn about from the packet available here.

We anticipate a fast pace with lots of content, deep engagement, and as much tenderness as needed to be able to make and to integrate the leaps we want for all of us. Info and registration. 
Responding to the Call of Our Times
Fridays, February 5 - December 10, 2021 (45 sessions)
Noon - 2:00 pm PT
This is the 5th year of this course. There’s a reason why some people have been coming for all the years of its existence. Whether you are an "official" leader or not, this ongoing program will support you in freeing yourself to fully step into leadership in all aspects of your life and work, and play your part in making life work for everyone. As our social systems unravel, this is more timely than ever. Info and register
NGL doesn’t currently have any upcoming retreats. All of our work is online at present, and includes many calls where you can learn as well as many opportunities to contribute to our work.
Virtual Happy Hour Benefit for NGL Community
Work From Home: Well That’s Fun”
Sunday May 30, 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Work From Home. It’s been 13 months and Lisa’s husband’s desk is still in the hall right in front of the bathroom door. Lisa’s fed up with co-starring in the reality show Extreme Manspread: Home Office Edition...The Covid Years. Unless Marie Kondo knocks at the door soon (masked, of course!), Lisa’s going to have to take matters into her own hands.

Find out how at our Virtual Happy Hour event Work From Home: Well That’s Fun. Live chat! Nonalcoholic drinking games! AND all proceeds benefit NGL Community. If you've got something to give, please do so. If you don't, no problem. Get a free ticket. We want EVERYONE at this Virtual Happy Hour.
"Lisa is hilarious — a rare combination of light and depth. I’ve loved her performances and am eager to see this one about the ongoing failure of the Convergent Facilitation process happening in her home about the placement of her husband’s desk. I’m so pleased she’s doing it as a benefit for NGL Community." – Miki Kashtan

NGL Friends

We continue to invite people to join us as “NGL Friends.” Every month we have more friends joining, now numbering over 160 people in that category. Friends can join many calls, including coaching calls, conversations with guests, and team meetings. They also offer support with different tasks to the NGL Online community, contribute financially, and connect with each other for learning and mutual support. Read about NGL and see whether being an NGL friend is for you here.

Support NGL's Gift Economy

The NGL Online community is a wild experiment in terms of use of resources. There are over 20 of us in the core teams that sustain the community. We are co-creators of a community that aims to function on a gift economy basis. When money arrives, which now is reaching $1,500 a month, we aim to distribute it among us based on the same principles. Money related to all of NGL’s projects flows into one collective pot of money, as a strategy to increase cohesion and reduce the chances of stratification within NGL. In the absence of retreats, we don’t have less work to do, and our sustainability has become much more strained, including that of BayNVC, the fiscal sponsor and parent organization of NGL, as our resources have been depleted in 2020 and we dipped into our reserve. We now distribute money 3 times a year, based on requests for bare bones sustainability from those who really need them to stay engaged. In our last circle in April, we adopted a new process so that everyone walked out of the circle without serious impacts to them, even while some of us, including BayNVC, received less than what is long-term sustainable for us. We did it. We want to keep moving closer to our vision and dream of full resource flow based on optimizing the movement of resources towards needs based on purpose and willingness. We are eager for the sustainability of all of us who pour countless hours over years to be able to lean on NGL for some of their sustainability instead of supporting NGL’s sustainability often at cost to themselves. 

If you have the capacity to do so, please donate here.
Convergent Facilitation

The world is hungry for people with skills to guide diverse groups and stakeholders toward decisions that everyone can wholeheartedly embrace. Are you called to support others with collaborative decisions? See what we have coming up.

Introduction to Convergent Facilitation: Online Intensive
May 22 - 23, 2021 15:00 - 20:30 UTC, 3 sessions per day
The Convergent Facilitation (CF) Intensive offers a comprehensive introduction to collaborative decision making. The skills you acquire will help you make group decisions more easily and effectively at home, in your work, and in your communities. This is an opportunity to learn the basics of the CF process and principles or deepen your practice. No previous experience with Convergent Facilitation is needed. Offered within gift economy.

Weekly CF Coaching Calls
We are celebrating our one-year anniversary of offering weekly Convergent Facilitation Coaching Calls. This program provides ongoing support from experienced facilitators on real-life challenges you encounter as you begin to use and apply Convergent Facilitation. We ask that you take an introductory workshop or read the book before you attend. Find out more about this project and get involved on the

Making Life Work - Online Self-Study Course

If you are reading this, you probably have a deep sense, however weak its voice, that a different world is possible, a world that honors and seeks to meet the needs of everyone, that welcomes each person’s truth, that rests on faith that solutions can be found to the most challenging problems facing us, individually and collectively. In the challenging times in which we live, many of us barely dare dream of this world.

Making Life Work. For You. For Everyone. No Exceptions. was born from that dream. In honor of this dream, it is available without a paywall, on a gift economy basis. 

Immersing yourself in this 6-part course is an opportunity to begin to integrate principles and practices that can move you in the direction of making this dream a reality, starting with your own life, exactly where you are. At your own pace. And with built-in support from others. 

What the course explores:

Part 1 - Needs: Making Transformation Possible
Part 2 - Choice: From Reaction to Conscious Response
Part 3 - Empathy: Connecting with Others without Losing Yourself
Part 4 - Authenticity: Expressing Truth with Care
Part 5 - Requests: Asking for All We Want
Part 6 - Collaboration: Finding Solutions That Work for All

The course includes extensive text, video, and audio materials, practices and activities, access to a community of learners to engage with and NVC trainers available as volunteer supporters to answer questions in writing.

Sign up for the course or learn more here.
The Fearless Heart Publications
Learning Packets
Miki worked for years with her sister Inbal Kashtan to develop learning materials about NVC, and has continued to develop new materials after Inbal's death. We now have a total of fifteen packets. Miki is planning to complete the entire set by August 2022. All packets are available on a gift economy basis, with no paywall. The packets are in eight categories, of which the first is missing just one, the sixth is complete, and several packets exist in others. By the next newsletter she plans to add eight more packets, completing the first and second categories.

  1. Restoring Choice: Socialization, Liberation, and Integration
  2. Purpose and Values: Collaborative Organizational Systems, Agreements, and Seeding the Future
  3. Restoring Togetherness: Interdependence, Dialogue, and Collaboration
  4. Scarcity, Separation, and Powerlessness: Patriarchy, History, and Economics
  5. Restoring Flow: Nonviolence, Systemic Change, the Commons, and the Gift Economy
  6. Caring for the Whole: Facilitation and Leadership
  7. Learning, Integrating, Applying, and Sharing NVC
  8. Power, Privilege, and Liberation

Many people are skeptical about money coming in when we provide content without a paywall. Our experience is a resounding affirmation that there is enough care and enough trust to begin to recreate flow. We are celebrating that so far this year people have downloaded 365 items in 221 orders, giving an average $7.02 per item. Of these, 105 people didn't give any money, and we rejoice in that. One person contributed $100 for 1 packet. This is the transitional world we want to live in, for as long as money exists: access for everyone regardless of how much money they have, supported by those who have the capacity to give more. 
Visit the learning packets page here:
The Highest Common Denominator

What if you could bring together any group of people to find solutions that are creative, satisfying, work for everyone, and actually get implemented?

In The Highest Common Denominator — Using Convergent Facilitation to Reach Breakthrough Collaborative Decisions, Miki Kashtan introduces a novel decision-making process that is designed to build trust from the very beginning, to surface concerns and address them, and to turn conflicts into dilemmas that groups feel energized to solve together.

This book is now available for purchase. For options about how to access the book, visit The Highest Common Denominator.

You can view the edited recording of the book launch celebration which took place on January 12, 2021. It can be watched here for anyone who was not available to tend the launch event itself or would like to view smaller insightful video clips from the event.
Core Nonviolence Commitments
Learning and Support Community
Strengthen your commitment to nonviolence
With Helen Adamson and Claudia Sánchez
The first 3 Thursdays of every month (except August)
January 2021 - January 2024 (34 modules of 3 sessions each)
6:00 - 8:00 pm CET (Central Europe Time) Find your time zone

An ongoing series of independent units or modules, each one designed to support participants in engaging, in community, with one of the 34 Core Nonviolence Commitments. The series is for people who want to strengthen their commitment to nonviolence and increase their ability to put it into practice in their day-to-day lives. Prior NVC experience is highly recommended. You may register for the series at any time; once you are registered you will receive an email invitation once a month to RSVP, if you like, for the next module.

Upcoming modules:
June: Commitment #6. Tenderness towards Limits
July: Commitment #7. Loving No Matter What
September: Commitment #8. Assumption of Innocence

Nonviolence is a way of being and living that orients, in thought, word, and deed, towards integrating love, truth, and courage in individual and collective action aimed at preserving what serves life and at challenging what doesn’t to transform itself so the human family can realign with life. -Miki Kashtan
We are now accepting scholarship applications:
Reducing Financial Barriers to Training in Nonviolence
We have been granted an opportunity to designate a small fund to offer support to members of marginalized communities to increase access to educational opportunities in the fields of nonviolence, including Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Kingian Nonviolence, and Nonviolent Global Liberation (NGL).

At BayNVC, we are painfully aware of the enormous systemic obstacles that block full participation in shaping and benefiting from training in nonviolence. One specific example is that the vast majority of people who participate in NVC training in much of the world are from white and middle class backgrounds. We hope this fund will be a small contribution to change in this area.

To see if this scholarship may be a support to you or someone you know visit the project here: baynvc.org/reducing-barriers-scholarship.